2 Samuel 11:27 (ESV)
“But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.“
The whole of chapter 11 in 2 Samuel is well known, even to the “unchurched”. The events of David’s sins have appeared in song lyrics (Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen), parodied in VeggieTales, and acted out in various forms of stage plays. So, if you ask the average Joe what he knows about King David, likely he will mention, “Wasn’t he the dude that killed a man just to be with another woman?” (Ok, maybe the average Joe wouldn’t say something like that…) By and by, people know of this particular sin of David.
What people do not know, or usually think of, is that not only was David’s sin wrong in the eyes of man, but David’s sin especially displeased (Literally, was evil in the LORD’s eyes) the LORD. As readers, we get caught up in our thoughts while in this passage. While we read we might be thinking, “I can’t imagine doing such a thing to someone else!” or “Man, David really messed up!” But, have we, as readers, ever considered the last part of verse 27? We know what David did was wrong in the eyes of man, for he had a man murdered just to cover up his own sin. Then, David goes even further to marry the deceased’s wife. Yet, have we stopped, before we read on in chapter 12, to notice that what David did was not only wrong in man’s eyes, but it was wrong in the LORD’s?
Now, we must recognize this wasn’t the first time David had sinned against the LORD. There are many other hints and clues that direct our attention to some questionable activities by this “man after God’s own heart.” For example, David had more than one wife. In fact, when we add Michal, who was childless, Bathsheba was David’s eighth wife! And now, in chapter 11, when David is supposed to be going out to war with his army, he instead stays home. What happens when David becomes idle? He just “happened” (v. 2) to arise from sitting in his palace to walk out on the patio and lo and behold there was a naked woman bathing across the way! It “just happened!”
What appears to be an accidental sin, to the naked eye, results in a well-planned series of sins. David saw that Bathsheba was very beautiful, so he retrieved her and slept with her, even though she belonged to another. Then, to cover up the results of David’s sin, for Bathsheba had become pregnant while Uriah was out at war (where David should have been), he tries to get Bathsheba’s husband to sleep with her! When Uriah proves to be a more honorable man than David, David schemes to have Uriah murdered at war.
While David attempts to pull the wool over the eyes of man, God is not deceived. Earlier in 1 Samuel 16:7, we learn that God does not look at the appearance of man but at the heart of man. David might look honorable after this whole ordeal to those, not in the loop of his scheme, but God knows the evil that was in David’s heart and it displeased him.
Do not be fooled, my friends. God sees everything we do and he knows the intentions of our heart. “God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus” (Romans 2:16). When we think we have gotten away with some secret sin by covering it up, God will reveal it and he will assuredly judge it. That was the case of David as you can see for yourself when you read what happened next in chapter 12.
The glorious result of this sin done by David is that a Savior was born from David’s line. While David sinned to serve his own sinful purposes, God worked the sin out for good, the ultimate good, according to His purpose! David eventually repented of his sin and was reconciled to God. How much more shall we who have Jesus Christ, the Living Son of God, the Savior of Man, as our advocate be resorted and reconciled to God if we turn to Him in repentance?
This was why Christ came! He came for men and women like David, who sin and fall short of being holy as the LORD God is holy. Jesus came to reconcile us to God and save us from our sin. O that we would be like David in Psalm 51 calling out to God in repentance!
Psalm 51:3–4 (ESV)
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Psalm 51:10–12 (ESV)
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.